We had the good fortune of connecting with Deja Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Deja, how do you think about risk?
Risk-taking, in my opinion, is one of the best ways to grow as a person and artist. The biggest risk that I have taken was packing my life upon a month’s notice and moving to New York City. I never would have thought that taking a risk like this would help me grow so much! I did not know what the city had to offer, living in New York is completely different than visiting New York, and I had no idea how different it would be.
I moved to NYC three months before COVID-19 shut everything down (great timing, I know). So not only was I facing the risk of moving to a new state by myself, but I was now facing the challenges of being an artist in a closed-down society. I wanted to find ways to still connect myself to my art, and connect my art to my audience. The challenge was finding inspiration through closed doors. During this time I took risks by diving into new styles of art, opening an art shop, being venerable with myself and thoughts through social media, and creating a brand for myself. Little did I know that through quarantine, and spending months on end with myself, this would open up the doors artistically to a whole new world of experiences.
For me, taking risks is one of the only ways to truly learn about yourself. If you are having doubts about something, my answer is to always do it because sometimes the reward is far greater than the risk!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I like to use the term ‘Illustrative Graphic Designer’ with my art. I find ways to incorporate illustration through logos, flyers, and other graphic design subjects. For my illustrative work, I focus heavily on colors and concepts. I have a condition called Synesthesia, which is where one sensory or cognitive pathway in the brain leads to involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. For me, my sensory is seeing the world through color. When I listen to music, eat food, or even talk to people, the world around me turns into the color that I associate with that said object. Through this, I work with very vibrant and expressive colors. This is what sets me apart from others. I have a whole different experience with the world and my art due to this condition. Things are more expressive and vibrant, and art allows me to show that to others.
I got to this path of an artist through many late nights and sacrifices. It wasn’t easy, but one day, all your hard work pays off. And it’s all uphill from there. I knew that through persistence and dedication, Things would start to line up, and as cheesy as that sounds, that’s exactly what happened! And now I get to share my story with y’all!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well Currently I’m in NYC, so I would show my friends some Dope locations that I have grown to love. Some spots I am going to keep a secret, But some main locations, of course, are SoHo. I love showing my friends the expensive stores in that area, along with art vendors such as Artist And Flees. DUMBO has all the beautiful views of Manhattan from Brooklyn. I love showing them the exotic plant shops in Greenpoint. I love shopping around the Chealsy Market and all the quirky shops the market has to offer. Free activities that I take my friends to do are the Staten Island Ferry, which offers great (and free) views of the Statue of Liberty. And lastly, Any Musem in Manhattan and Brooklyn, The museums in NYC and LA always offer the best and most rare collections of art.
Food-wise, you can never pass up a visit to Essex Market, there are so many cultures to eat from. Hells Kitchen is a great place to check out for a delicious dinner, and of course, you can never go wrong with ramen in the city. For breakfast, A delicious LOX bagel from a local bagel shop can never steer you wrong.
For my LA audience, I love the views from the Griffith Observatory. The LACMA and its Urban light entrance are beautiful, especially at night. And for an unforgettable night out, Beetle House which is a Halloween-themed bar in downtown LA! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shoutout to my wonderful Partner! My precious Dog, my sisters, and brothers, my roommates, and every client, customer, and person who has supported my art through this crazy journey. oh, and Pinterest, for fueling my late-night creative spurts.
Other: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-me-finish-my-last-semster-of-school?utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_lico+share-sheet https://www.etsy.com/shop/DejaDoodlesShop?ref=seller-platform-mcnav https://www.inprnt.com/profile/dejadoodlesprints/
All Images were Illustrated By Deja Doodles